17-year old “app” millionaire

17-year-old Nick D’Aloisio is proof that all those hours teenagers spend in front of computers, tablets and smart phones don’t have to be wasted. His Summly app is being purchased by Yahoo!, giving him millions of dollars and a job.

Please join us on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/bangkokpostlearning

Life has changed dramatically in the past two years for 17-year-old Nick D’Aloisio, all because of a history exam. AFP


Click button to listen to Summly and rightclick to download

17-year old “app” millionaire

Two years ago, 15-year-old London native Nick D'Aloisio was having that frustrating experience common to students preparing for tests around the world.

He had a history exam coming up and searching through Google and other websites for information was annoyingly slow.

So, he wrote an app.

Known as Trimit, it cut down long web articles to about 400 characters, making it much easier to determine what was likely to be useful and what was not.

An experienced app writer by that time, D'Aloisio released his app on the internet where it received positive reviews and thousands of downloads.

It also caught the attention of Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing whose representatives contacted D'Aloisio by email.

Not knowing what to do, the teenager ignored the message.

Two days later he was "stunned" when Li's people approached him again, and this time D'Aloisio agreed to a phone call.

"They didn't know I was a 15-year-old, so I had to explain that," he said with a smile.

"It was frightening. It was a hobby, I didn't expect this to happen. But at the same time, I had nothing to lose – I was a 15-year-old."

Li invested $US300,000 in Trimit. D'Aloisio used the cash to develop the algorithm the app used to identify the key topics in a news article, working with scientists at Stanford University among others.

Summly officially launched in November last year, on D'Aloisio's 17th birthday.

On Monday, the tech giant Yahoo! announced it was buying Summly for an undisclosed amount, estimated to be around $30 million – making the London schoolboy one of the youngest self-made multi-millionaires

He will also start work in Yahoo!'s London office in the next few weeks, while living at home and studying for another set of exams. Perhaps more apps will be on the way shortly.
 
Adapted from AFP and Reuters stories.

dramatically – in a big way อย่างใหญ่หลวง
application (app) – a program designed to do a particular job; a piece of software โปรแกรมใช้งาน, โปรแกรมคอมพิวเตอร์
millionaire – a person who has a million pounds, dollars, etc; a very rich person  เศรษฐี, มหาเศรษฐี
multi-millionaire – a person who has many millions of pounds, dollars, baht, etc.
billionaire – having more than a billion pounds, dollars (or a billion baht in Thailand) คนที่รวยมากๆ มีทรัพย์สินพันล้านดอลล่าร์
native – someone who was born in a particular place ชาวพื้นเมือง
frustrating – making you feel annoyed and impatient because you are prevented from achieving something or you can’t do anything about something ทำให้โกรธ ทำให้ข้องใจ
common – done or shared by two or more people ที่เป็นของส่วนรวม, ที่ร่วมกัน
annoying – making you feel slightly angry or impatient น่ารำคาญ
character – a letter, number, or symbol that is written, printed, or used in computer programs ตัวอักษร
determine – to find out or decide something  ตัดสินใจ  ระบุ
release – to make something available to the public  ออกวางตลาด, ออกวางจำหน่าย
positive – in a good way ในทางบวก
review – an article in which someone gives their opinion of a something บทวิจารณ์
attention – interest, especially interest that the public has in a person, event, situation etc ความสนใจ
contact – to communicate with someone  ติดต่อ
ignore – to fail to pay attention to เพิกเฉย
stunned – very shocked or surprised  มึน, ตกตะลึง, งงงัน
approach – to start to speak or write to someone when you are asking for something or making an offer เข้าหา
hobby – an activity that you do for pleasure when you are not working งานอดิเรก
invest – to spend money on something in order to make it better or more successful  ลงทุน
cash – money เงินสด
algorithm – a set of rules that must be followed when solving a particular problem ชุดของคำสั่งที่สร้างไว้ตามขั้นตอน, อัลกอริธึม
identify – to specify  ระบุ
key –most important thing สำคัญที่สุด
topic – a subject that you talk, write or learn about เรื่อง,  หัวข้อ
launch – to start selling a new product or service to the public  เริ่มวางขาย
undisclosed – not reported publicly ไม่เปิดเผย
estimated – thought to be a particular amount, size, etc. based on a guess or the best information available ประมาณการ

Related search: Nick D'Aloisio, Summly, Yahoo!

About the author

columnist
Writer: Terry Fredrickson
Position: Education Marketing and Support Manager